Posture is the way by which one carries his or her body on his or her legs. We have good and bad postures. When one walks and the body and the head are carried straight, he or she is in good posture. For example, many soldiers have good posture because of their vocation. We observe them walk with their body straight. They stand upright straight and move very smartly.
Bad posture occurs when someone bends or tilts awkwardly when he/she stands, walks or sits. For example, a person may have a big stomach that protrudes with a bottom shooting backwards. This individual may be walking with front bent forward and the bottom pushing backwards. It is necessary to maintain good posture all the time. A bad posture makes one ugly and slow when walking. It does not also allow good dress fitting.
Importance of Good Posture
1. Good posture makes us look smart and beautiful.
2. It makes the dress we wear to fit us perfectly.
3. It gives us good health.
4. It helps us to move very fast and smartly.
5. It reduces fatigue or tiredness in us.
6. It makes our food digest easily.
7. It enables us to carry our body weight evenly while either walking, standing, sitting or working.
Characteristics of Good Posture
1. The body is smart and straight.
2. The body’s muscles develop uniformly.
3. The various parts of the body are very proportional to one another.
4. The body is healthy and active at all times.
Types of Posture
There are many types of posture. There are postures for walking, sitting, sleeping, standing and working.
We have good and bed walking postures. In a good walking posture, the head is carried straight, the stomach remains flat and straight and the bottom is smart as one raises the legs up one after the other quickly. For example, try and observe a soldier or a mobile policeman when marching on the field or on television and observe hie straight head. He keeps his stomach and bottom muscles in shape as he walks with his feet straight in front of him. This is a good walking posture.
Also. there is bad walking posture. Somebody with a big stomach and big bottom will find it difficult to maintain good walking posture. The person is likely to be dragging his/her feet on the ground one after the other as he/she walks. A lot of young people have bad walking postures developed in their attempts to impress other people. Such young people walk with their backs bent outwards.
This is the way we sit down on a chair. There are different types of chairs. Some chairs, like padded chairs are made to help us sit well. Some are made to make us sit as we want. An example is the cushion chair we have in our sitting room.
To have a good sitting posture, we should try to keep to the following rules:
1. Sit straight on the chair and allow our back and the back of our head to rest well on the back rail of the chair.
2. Keep our stomach straight and relaxed
3. Keep our legs together while sitting; and
4. If we are sitting on a cushion chair, we should allow our two hands to rest on the arms of the chair.
Students should maintain proper sitting posture when reading, writing or eating. When reading, the book should be at a distance, but not too far away from the eyes. The head and the eyes should not be made to bend downwards close to the book. When writing. do not bend your back or place your elbow on the desk. Sit up, with your head lightly bowed. Maintain the same posture when eating.
Sleeping posture depends on the type of bed one has. Nowadays, children sleep on objects such as benches, cushion chairs and on the floor. Some children use both hands as pillows while sleeping; with legs curled up awkwardly. These are bad sleeping postures. Sleeping in tight. hard or narrow areas, like on chairs make us develop bad postures. When we are feeling sleepy we should go to bed and sleep.
Our head should rest on the pillow when we lie down. We should lie sideways with one of our ears on the pillow and our legs resting on one another. While covering our body up to the shoulder, we should leave our head uncovered to enable us breathe well. Use a comfortable pillow while sleeping. Some people like soft pillow while some like fairly hard or heavy pillow. Look for a cozy sleeping surface and sleep where you can turn your body from one side to another if necessary. Some people wear pyjamas or night gown to sleep. You should use one that is loose and comfortable.
Many people do not know how to stand properly. Some people stand with their legs astride because their body to too heavy on the legs. Some people can not stand without resting the body on something such as a walking stick or a car to support them. As a young child. you should learn to stand upright always.
Different kinds of work take different kinds of posture. The posture one takes while doing any kind of work must be such that protects him/her from harm. The following must be observed:
1. The posture must give comfort to the worker.
2. The posture must protect the body of the worker especially the sense organs such as our eyes, ears, and nose.
3. The posture must protect the skin, the hand and the feet from being injured. For example, when pounding, the posture must protect the hands and the legs. When grinding or grating, the posture must protect the fingers. When weeding with a machete we must adopt a comfortable posture. When carrying heavy load. the posture must protect the head and the hairs. When cooking, the posture must protect the body from heat and burns.
The Body Weight and Posture
The human posture is often determined by the weight of an individual. A person can be overweight or underweight. Overweight is also called obesity. The characteristics of a person who is overweight include the following:
1. Being fat and heavy;
2. Tending to have bad standing and walking postures.
3. Having a shape that is not very attractive
4. Walking slowly because of the weight
5. Becoming tired easily
6. Breathing heavily and very fast at times
7. Finding it difficult to stand up very easily
8. Requiring support in the process of sitting down.
Causes of Overweight
Overweight may be caused by any of the following:
1. The trait can be inherited from parents. If one of the parents is overweight, it is likely that the children would be ovenlveight.
2. Too much eating of fatty food may cause overweight.
3. Laziness and idleness may cause overweight, especially when one does move about.
4. Ill-health may cause overweight, especially when one cannot move about.
Prevention and Control of Overweight
Overweight could be prevented through the following ways:
1. A lot of exercises that may involve running, jumping, hard work and sweat;
2. Controlled rest and sleep can reduce overweight;
3. Controlled eating and good diet can prevent overweight;
4. Controlled use of drugs such as pills can prevent overweight.
Guidelines for Maintaining Good Posture
i. Exercise regularly.
ii. Observe very sound sleep.
iii. Eat balanced diet always.
iv. Observe relaxation after a hard work.
v. Avoid use of drugs for slimming or fattening.
vi. Avoid laziness and idleness when there is work to do.
vii. Consciously maintain good posture as a habit.
viii. Avoid over-drinking of alcohol.
ix. Avoid imitation of other people’s style of walking.